Educating the future generation of environmentalists “There is no better teacher than experience.”
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
“There is no better teacher than experience.” Says CEO Øyvind Berg regarding the internship program conducted by Nicaforest in cooperation with local universities.
As early as 2013 the Nicaforest program has welcomed groups of students from UNAN and the National Agrarian University to participate in Internship programs taking place across their plantations. This has proven to be a widely successful initiative, regarding both transfers of knowledge as well as providing valuable real-world experience to aspiring environmentalists.
- It is our social responsibility as a leader in environmental consciousness to not only educate ourselves but to bestow this knowledge on the future generation of environmentalists. - Says Nicaforest Founder and CEO Øyvind Berg.
Fostering cooperation with higher learning institutions
UNAN and the National Agrarian University are a hub to many of the future environmental minds of Nicaragua, and Nicaforest is proud to cooperate with these institutions. Opportunities such as the one offered by Nicaforest through the internship program are rare in a developing country such as Nicaragua, as often companies rely on conventional hiring practices and are reluctant to take such initiatives, as they are often perceived as unnecessary.
- It is an exciting opportunity to have the ability to influence the professional and personal development of these students. Internship opportunities in our field are uncommon in Nicaragua, which makes it all that more important to foster such initiatives. - Says Dr. Carlos J. Perez, co-founder of Nicaforest.
An effective way to give back
In the field of sustainability, a positive environmental impact should always go hand in hand with a positive social impact. One of the most powerful tools available when seeking to improve the standing of a community is that of education, and the added value it brings when viewed from a long-term perspective.
- Through the development of an internship program we are able to not only bring value to the community today but also to create a transfer of knowledge that will create value for decades to come. - Says Jimmy H. Robles, Operational manager at Nicaforest.
A learning experience for all involved
The internship initiative has served to provide valuable real-world experience to dozens of students, as well as allowed the Nicaforest team to have exposure to new perspectives brought forward by these young professionals. This value can be defined as a mutual learning experience, which in turn further illustrates the idea of how social impact can be beneficial for all parties involved.
- You never stop learning, and working with bright, young, motivated minds is an excellent learning opportunity to understand what drives the future of sustainable development. - Says Jimmy H. Robles, Operational manager at Nicaforest.
High degree of technical and practical expertise
Nicaforest has strived to capacitate students in the various skills necessary in the establishment and management of a forestry project, with a focus on the areas of technical forestry and administrative accounting. Furthermore, these students receive capacitation in the use of technologies such as GPS which are essential in the day-to-day operations of large plantations, as well as guidance in the use of formulas to interpret the available data.
- To teach these essential skills, and to be able to experience the progression of these students as they gain this knowledge, makes for a rewarding experience that reminds all of us why we choose the field of sustainable forestry development. - Says Jimmy H. Robles.
A bump in the road and the path ahead
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has put a strain on organizations and countries around the world, and in the interest of safety, Nicaforest has been forced to temporally scale back its internship program. While this is unfortunate, it does not indicate by any means the end of the internship program.
- While the pandemic has led to difficulties in the organization of internship programs, it has also allowed us to look ahead and plan for the future of such initiatives, a future that looks brighter than ever. - Says Jimmy H. Robles.
Nicaforest has re-asserted its commitment to being a driving force in the education of the future generation of environmentalists, and it is safe to say that the future holds exciting opportunities for all those involved.
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